Categories: WikiTree Love
This is a rough draft. It's mostly just a dry timeline right now and it leaves out a lot. Please help us flesh it out with real community events, good and bad. What can you add? -- Whitten-1 15:08, 9 February 2016 (EST)
A History of WikiTree
=== April 2018
Week of 4/1: Surprased 17 million profiles
Week of 3/27: Passed 4 million profiles that have DNA connections
Week of 2/19: Passed 500,000 members
23 December: Crossed the 16,000,000 profile milestone.
24 August: Crossed the 15,000,000 profile milestone.
1 June: Announced improvements included adding "Unknown" to search parameters.
7 May: Crossed the 14,000,000 profile milestone. "Conqueror the Conqueror" mini-project on William the Conqueror begins.
22 April - 24 April 2017: The 72 hour Spring Clean-a-Thon took place.
The addition, finally, of how-to tutorials for new members.
16 June 2016: MatchBot Monitors Project began, after the addition of variable spelling was introduced for WikiTree searches (which caused an explosion in the number of merges MatchBot was proposing - for both obscure matches that were indeed duplicates & wildly bad matches). See also this G2G discussion. Its members are MatchBot MPs.
Introduced long-debated restrictions on who can edit Pre-1500 Profiles. It was back in September 2014 that we added the pre-1700 restrictions. They've helped but they aren't very restrictive since it only takes 10 or 15 minutes to go through the self-certification.
Released the most significant round of GEDCOM import changes in terms of formatting profiles since WikiTree first started importing GEDCOMs in 2010. Imports no longer produce the super ugly profiles we're used to seeing.
We also started a big effort to use "tags" to help connect members who share the same genealogical interests. We've come to realize over the past few years that WikiTree is genealogy collaboration. Collaboration = communication + coordination + common goal. Helping members connect with each other helps our mission.
We enlisted Carrie Quackenbush as a WikiTree Leader this month.
One of our community's favorite Leaders, Liz Shifflett, returns.
A busy month!
We implemented the Family List feature which can show 15 generations of descendants and/or ancestors — up to 29 generations on one page; can include siblings of ancestors; can be sorted by name, birth date, or birth location.
Leigh Murrin and Julie Ricketts became WikiTree Leaders in October. Unfortunately, some of our best, Philip Smith, Lindsay Coleman, Billy Wallace, Keith Baker, Chris Hoyt, Tami Osmer and April Dauenhauer had to step away from their leadership roles.
A small but significant thing for the G2G community: We made it possible to link questions to [[Free-Space Profile|free-space profiles].
Queen Elizabeth II was added as one of the "anchor people" for the Connection Finder. Much more popular in the community than Kevin Bacon, who was chosen mostly for the "six degrees of separation" analogy.
We added the "100 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" (and two others) feature box to every profile. This caused quite a stir. Many members object to making connections through marriage, or object to gimmicky celebrity features, or to Kevin Bacon in particular. In response, we made the feature box smaller and moved it to the bottom of profiles.
The dynamic tree view go live! A tree than you can pan around and zoom in/out on has been long requested.
Another great Leader joins the team: John Beardsley.
22 June 2015: John Schmeeckle went Leader Emeritus.
Maryann Hurt became a WikiTree Leader.
This month we made a big technical change for users who view WikiTree on mobile devices. Pages became "responsive" to the width of browser and therefore much more mobile-friendly.
We crossed the major milestone of 10,000,000 profiles!
This month Keith Hathaway, one of the friendliest "faces" in our community, became a WikiTree Leader.
25 March 2015: Relationship Status: Certainty status on relationships went live (uncertain, confident, confirmed with DNA; non-biological added 28 October 2015)
3 March 2015: Quakers Project started.
25 February 2015: Released Compact Family Tree.
|Team Members Tami, Eowyn, and Abby at RootsTech 2015.|
12-14 February 2015: Our fourth RootsTech conference. Mags Gaulden, Abby Glann, Tami Glatz, Michelle Hartley, Eowyn Langholf, Peter Roberts, Kitty Smith, Michael Lee Stills, Karen Tobo and Chris Whitten attend.
3 February 2015: Added Tree & Tools page.
22 January 2015: Crossed 9,000,000 profiles.
14 January 2015: Added birth dates and locations to titles in links to family members on profiles.
6 January 2015: Debut of Generous Genealogist star badges
The wonderful Karen Tobo also joined the Leader team.
20 October 2014: Vicki Norman became a WikiTree Leader.
September 2014: Introduced Pre-1700 Self-Certification.
August 2014: Erin Breen became a team member: Volunteer Coordinator.
July 2014: AJ's media blitz for the global family reunion continues, most notably with an appearance on Good Morning America. He also published an article in Mental Floss magazine.
June 2014: Abby first coins the phrase Don't WikiTree While Angry. In November it would be further discussed and adopted as an official rule. DWWA has since become an important principle in our community.
14 June 2014: AJ's TED talk and People magazine article released.
27 May 2014: Most of new design now in place.
8 May 2014: Conversion of pages to new design rolling out.
6 May 2014: Doug Lockwood became a WikiTree Leader.
29 March 2014: Concept of Top level Projects with sub-Projects introduced with creation of Australia Project (as a top level Project)
25 March 2014: Roger Travis went Leader Emeritus.
15 March 2014: Elyse Doerflinger went Leader Emeritus.
March 2014: Abby Glann became a team member: Leader Liaison.
|Kitty, Lianne, AJ, Michelle, Eowyn (100% Free!), Chris, and Tami at RootsTech 2014.|
February 2014: The team and a group of leaders attend RootsTech 2014, the big genealogy conference sponsored by FamilySearch in Salt Lake City. In other news, AJ has been on NPR twice and Canadian Public Radio as well.
16 February 2014: Michele Bergin became a WikiTree Leader.
2 February 2014: Sunday New York Times op-ed by AJ Jacobs mentions WikiTree.
February 2014: WikiTree Supervisors became WikiTree Leaders.
16 January 2014: First crop of Rangers Project badges awarded.
15 January 2014: Maria Maxwell became a WikiTree Supervisor.
13 January 2014: Annette Cormier became a WikiTree Supervisor.
16 December 2013: April Daunhauer became a WikiTree Supervisor.
17 November 2013: Terri Rick became a WikiTree Supervisor.
15 November 2013: New home page design.
11 November 2013: Peter Roberts became a WikiTree Supervisor.
6 November 2013: Getting about 3.3 million hits (not visits) through the server per day. An average of 1,200 queries per second.
23 October 2013: Extended DNA table fields.
16 October 2013: Sent e-mail newsletter to 44,000 members.
24 September 2013: Moved where categories appear on profiles. Now in full-sized text directly above bio.
20 September 2013: Nae X. became a WikiTree Supervisor.
17 September 2013: WikiTree.org closes and redirects WikiTree.com.
13 September 2013: Anzacs Project begins (becomes a sub-project of the Australia Project in March 2014).
10 September 2013: CNN and RealSimple magazine mentions.
6 September 2013: Jillaine Smith becomes the first WikiTree member to be awarded the Huguenot Migration badge, awarded by team member Lianne Lavoie. This marks the official start of the Huguenot Migration Project. By January 2016 it had 58 members.
23 August 2013: Fred Remus became a WikiTree Supervisor.
13 August 2013: Eowyn Langholf became a team member: WikiTree Forest Elf.
25 June 2013: Made DNA test connections live.
17 June 2013: Trib Triboulet became a WikiTree Supervisor.
18 May 2013: Paul Bech became a team member: Project Assistant.
10 May 2013: Redesign of surname index pages.
7 May 2013: Design changes, including colors and buttons for widgets and family views.
22 April 2013: 5,000,000 profiles.
2 April 2013: First Family History Photo of the Week.
18 March 2013: Sheri Sturm became a WikiTree Supervisor.
21-23 March 2013: Our second RootsTech conference. Chris, Lianne Lavoie, Michael Gabbard, and Ed Burke represent WikiTree.
7 March 2013: The Wiki Genealogy Feed is introduced enabling members to follow surnames and other tags.
4 March 2013: Bill Jennings became a WikiTree Supervisor.
28 February 2013: Lianne Lavoie became a team member: Princess of Projects.
25 January 2013: Eugene Quigley became a WikiTree Supervisor.
21 December 2012: Started running GEDMatches.
4 December 2012: Releases "cousin bait" toolkit pages.
21 November 2012: William Penn and Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project started by Sandi Wiggins.
1 November 2012: Released MatchBot.
27 September 2012: Reopened registration with Guest Member program.
7 August 2012: Brian Chelton became a WikiTree Supervisor.
26 July 2012: Opened up 100,000 pre-1812 profiles according to recent 200-year-old rule.
26 June 2012: Krissi Love became a WikiTree Supervisor.
13 June 2012: Allen Minix became a WikiTree Supervisor.
7-10 June 2012: Chris, Tami Osmer, Lianne Lavoie, and Elyse Doerflinger represent WikiTree at Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree. We have lots of fun but decide that conferences aren't in WikiTree's budget. We plan to just attend RootsTech in future years.
31 May 2012: Reach 20,000 visits on Tuesday, then 27,000 on Wednesday. It was a lot of Hatfield-McCoy searches after a History Channel series. It dropped soon after.
12 May 2012: Added G2G questions on surname pages.
9–12 May 2012: Chris and Tami Osmer attend NGS Family History Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
29 February 2012: Added Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) forum.
16-20 February 2012: Opening up 172K profiles born before 1712 but Level 50 or below.
13 February 2012: Traffic keeps growing. Hit 14,196 visits in one day.
28 January 2012: Lindsay Coleman became a WikiTree Supervisor.
18 January 2012: Removed full surname index from home page.
17 January 2012: Closed off new user registration! WikiTree becomes invitation-only.
12 January 2012: 3,000,000 profiles.
31 December 2011: Roger Travis became a WikiTree Supervisor.
15 December 2011: Major speed improvement to surname index pages released.
20 November 2011: Chris starts the European Aristocratic Ancestors User Group, WikiTree's first user group, which would grow to become the EuroAristo Project.
13 October 2011: Big round of improvements related to merges and matches.
3 October 2011: Traffic breaks 10,000 visits in one day.
23 July 2011: 2,000,000 profiles.
7 July 2011: Released Relationship Finder.
8 June 2011: In Family Tree Magazine's 101. Also Statesman Journal mention.
4 June 2011: Kim Komando mention in USA Today and Thomas's Internet talk radio program.
25 May 2011: Influx of Indian members. There was a mention in a regional newspaper.
23 May 2011: 1,500,000 profiles.
18 May 2011: Mention in New York Times.
3 May 2011: Added extensive links to emphasize Honor Code.
May 2011: Tami Osmer became a team member.
26 April 2011: Release of thank-you system, merge proposals, bulk Profile Manager changes tool, bio Preview function.
23 March 2011: Release of family tree widgets.
9 March 2011: 1,000,000 profiles!
24 February 2011: Released Special:FindMatches.
22 February 2011: Vastly improved surname pages (now dynamic) and Watchlists.
19 January 2011: Implemented new URLs for Family Tree, Descendant, and Browse Photo pages.
18 January 2011: Introduced public view tabs.
20 December 2010: 700,000 profiles.
1 December 2010: Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers recommends WikiTree to his followers. This is another milestone in WikiTree's connection to the genealogy community.
19 October 2010: 500,000 profiles!
22 September 2010: 400,000 profiles.
10 September 2010: Topped 250,000 profiles. The blog post from Dick Eastman helped a lot in reaching this milestone.
9 September 2010: The classic Cyndi's List website added WikiTree to its Wiki page. Dick Eastman reviewed WikiTree on his blog. These were significant steps for introducing WikiTree to the genealogy community.
31 August 2010: 200,000 profiles.
30 March 2010: 100,000 profiles! (Almost 20,000 users)
4 January 2010: Moved e-cards from Interesting.com. These e-cards were almost 10 years old before they became part of WikiTree.
November 2009: 50,000 profiles.
16 September 2009: 10,000 registered members.
3 September 2009: Improved our search engine.
25 June 2009: Added surname index.
18 June 2009: 20,000 profiles.
18 May 2009: Introduced lock icons for privacy levels.
17 May 2009: Experimented with "The Encyclopedia of You" as a way to describe WikiTree.
9 March 2009: Added Multiple marriages|multiple spouses capability. Before this people could only have one marriage in the database!
21 February 2009: Added birth place and death place fields. Before this there were only date fields. This started a progression of adding more and more traditional database fields that overlay the free-form wiki structure we first expected to use.
13 February 2009: Added user home pages and five-generation family trees.
5 February 2009: New logo: The green and orange "WikiTree" and globe as it is still used today.
23 January 2009: Started using the term "profiles" instead of "Person Pages" and "WikiSpace Pages".
7 January 2009: Sent first Activity Feed e-mail update.
November 2008: First public registrations. This is the about the closest thing to an official opening of WikiTree we can put on a calendar.
30 July 2008: A few dozen people are invited for testing.
1 July 2008: Chris invites his brother and father to test WikiTree.
March 2008: Chris starts collecting ideas for WikiTree through a survey form.
November 2007: "Coming soon" notice posted on WikiTree.com.
September 2007: Chris begins to work on WikiTree full-time after leaving WikiAnswers/Answers.com.
Early 2007: After his website FAQ Farm (WikiAnswers) becomes part of Answers.com, Chris starts to explore how to open his family tree website to more people. The first challenge is privacy. How can people share the same family tree yet maintain privacy? The solution will eventually become what are now known as Trusted Lists.
2005: Chris creates a private family website for collecting and organizing his own family history. He also registers the domain WikiTree.com with the idea that it might someday be a collaborative family tree.
2004: Chris converts FAQ Farm, his collaborative question and answer site, to use the wiki software developed by Wikipedia.
1996: Chris Whitten meets Jimmy Wales, who would later found Wikipedia. Wales and his partner sublet office space for their first Internet business from the Internet non-profit that Chris was running at the time.
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